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European Parliament Takes Step Toward Burying ACTA

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the some-buried-caesar-some-buried-acta dept.

EU 53

An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament's INTA Committee yesterday soundly rejected a proposal to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice for review. ACTA critics viewed the proposal as a delay tactic designed with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two it would take for a court review. The 21-5 vote against the motion means that the INTA committee will conclude its ACTA review later this spring with a full European Parliament vote expected in June or July. The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they are ready to bury it."

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if only the parliament had a binding say (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511925)

Hell, if only there was a way of barring the proposal of "similar legislation" within some timeframe, so it isn't repeatedly proposed in slightly different versions until eventually it passes.

This is the problem with lobbying under democracy - or, in the EU's case, appointment. Like Wikipedia, it's not what's best that remains, nor even what people want - it's whatever is proposed by those with the most resources to push it through.

Lick my balls, people. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512231)

Come on. We need ACTA.

Re:Lick my balls, people. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512269)

Can i fondle your balls while you fuck my ass?

Re:Lick my balls, people. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512855)

Possibly. Do you live anywhere near Staten Island?

Re:Lick my balls, people. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512947)

Ha. Cranford.

Re:Lick my balls, people. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513175)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512377)

Like how Congress removed SOPA from the table due to opposition, but then immediately proposed a new bill with a new name, but same effects.

And ACTA is still floating around. It's already signed by our lovely president Obama. All it needs now is ratification or rejection by the Senators, but the White House has tabled it. Maybe they plan to enforce it through executive order, instead of through legal means.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512447)

Like how Congress removed SOPA from the table due to opposition, but then immediately proposed a new bill with a new name, but same effects.

And ACTA is still floating around. It's already signed by our lovely president Obama. All it needs now is ratification or rejection by the Senators, but the White House has tabled it. Maybe they plan to enforce it through executive order, instead of through legal means.

I've found that evil usually triumphs, unless good is very, very careful.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514429)

Evil usually triumphs unless good takes a gun, shoots evil twice in the chest and one in the head, decapitates its still twitching corpse and buries the remains separatedly in quicklime.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512627)

My civics class taught me that a bill goes to the House first, then the Senate, then the President. What happened?

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512777)

Humanity. Specifically our liking for loopholes in rules.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (4, Informative)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513455)

Your civics class is wrong in most cases. A taxation bill has to start in the House. Any other kind of bill can start in either the House or the Senate.

Also, ACTA is a treaty, which only needs ratification by the Senate.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515135)

That is why it drives me nuts when the party not in power in the senate says, "The senate (or x party in the senate) keeps voting down our budgets (or senators said bad things about it, etc.) but they haven't proposed a budget in n years!" Well of course they haven't, they can't.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513475)

Well the TARP bailout bill went to the Senate first, and then the House. Rules change whenever politicians decide to ignore the constitution with comments like "Are you serious? Are you serious???" (That was Nancy Pelosi when asked where the insurance purchase mandate was constitutional.)

Now Obama signed the ACTA but is just sitting on it rather than giving it to the Senate for acceptance or rejection. His copyright czar probably intends to enact ACTA through executive rules, rather than laws.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513429)

It's already signed by our lovely president Obama.

[citation needed]

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (2)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516335)

According to our 'lovely' president Obama, ACTA does not need to be ratified by Senate because it is a trade agreement, not a treaty. So, unless forced to (e.g. by Sen Wyden's amendment to the JOBS Act http://www.bna.com/wyden-amendments-houses-n12884908487/ [bna.com] ) or Obama decides to send it to the Senate on his own, The Senate will have no say on ACTA.

Re:if only the parliament had a binding say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512941)

Nice little jab at wikipedia, there.

The difference is wikipedia actually has to deal with good, relevant sources when they're submitted and, you know, facts... making it an entirely inappropriate simile.

Can we assume you also tried to sneak some kind of motivated BS into a wiki entry and were denied?

EUparl has a binding say. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39541041)

Since lisbon treaty a few years ago. nothing they do not ratify, can take effect in europe.

Lets hope not. (3, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511931)

with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two

After SOPA, PIPA, and now ACTA popping up back to back, I'd like to hope people will be paying more attention for things like this.

Re:paying more attention (4, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513067)

You tell me. As an honest quiz question, do you know the fate of PC-FIPA HR1981?

Remember the run up to busting SOPA? PC-FIPA is *worse* yet I have barely seen any articles on it.

And we also almost missed the boat on ACTA too. I think we finally woke up barely in time to stop that one too, but it got a lot farther.

Re:paying more attention (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513667)

I don't sadly, I'm just a dude with a pitchfork. You tell me where to throw it, and i throw.
Now if you'll excuse me, now that I do know, I have a pitchfork to throw.

Re:paying more attention (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514721)

Here is a typical reaction to criticism of a bill like PCFIPA:

How dare you criticize a bill that protects the children? You must a pedophile.

Re:paying more attention (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515479)

Indeed... just see Bill C-11 in Canada for as brazen an example of this as you'll find anywhere.

Re:paying more attention (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520493)

Wow... I hadn't heard of that one before. For those who haven't heard of it either, it's actually called the Protect Children from Internet Pornographers Act. Good luck giving any constructive critisism of that bill without having to move out of your neighbourhood the next day.

I am lost for words.

Re:Wow (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520879)

Yep.

Wow #1: The title. It's not even evil media corps this time, it's got a different and nastier packaging.

Wow #2: That you hadn't heard of it. Not even on here. I submitted a story on it once to the firehose and it was blocked.

Re:hadn't heard of that one before (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520907)

And there's two more behind that, back in the "cyber security" packaging again, and those are even more obscure.

Those are even just the "big packaging engines" to sell these bills. Lately they're getting ludicrous, like the recent move to *kill* the amendment that *stops* employers from asking for your Facebook logins.

Or how about the new Troll trick of using Florida law to attempt to get your name from your ISP for troll-suit purposes. Those got barely stopped last week by a couple of awake judges, but it is partially working.

And there's been a couple stories that back to my original theme, "wrap it so ludicrously that it sends a reviewer into a mental coma". Like the one that ..wait for it ... *wants to build a national database of cars, owners, and GPS locations in real time* (yikes!) so they can ... wait for it ... deny gasoline people who haven't registered for insurance.

"Bury", not "Remove all traces from existence" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511945)

The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they are ready to bury it.

The members of the media industry have very very good shovels.

Encouraging (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512005)

One could draw the conclusion that Europe is sick of the attempts by the United States at hegemony and is outrightly rejecting ACTA in a way of forcing the United States to legislate its own backyard only. However, SOPA and PIPA have failed miserably and the sue for profit outfit Righthaven was dealt a swift and severe hand of defeat. In fact, they effectively no longer exist. Think of the companies that lost a lot of money due to that scheme. They probably lost more money paying Righthaven for its legal services than they might have lost through perceived copyright violation.

Re:Encouraging (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512443)

Europe are fagets. I went their one time and their were fagits all over the place. USA should not be concerned with what bunch of faget European people are doing in there faget parliaments. If anything need to be buried it the Europe fagets who sin in the eyes of God and debase each other.

Re:Encouraging (2, Funny)

Mexifries (938371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512593)

Europe are fagets. I went their one time and their were fagits all over the place. USA should not be concerned with what bunch of faget European people are doing in there faget parliaments. If anything need to be buried it the Europe fagets who sin in the eyes of God and debase each other.

UPVOTE PARENT AS INSIGHTFUL AND FUNNY. this man is obviously learned. Yes yes, there faget parliaments, indeed. I wholeheartedly concur. Debasing is happening constantly, I'm sure of it.

GP is, however, wrong (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514537)

Contrary to what he asserts, Maxime Faget, who designed the Mercury capsule, was born in British Honduras and educated in the USA. Given that he was an extraordinarily brilliant and successful engineer, we would all be better off in the EU if there were indeed Fagets all over the place, including our parliaments. We'd probably have a colony on Mars by now (sustaining itself by grants from the Common Agricultural Policy).

Re:GP is, however, wrong (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518995)

Moreover, Fget in Romania is too small to support its own parliament.

Re:Encouraging (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512607)

Your commentary regarding the true nature of Europe would be much more persuasive if you knew how to spell.

Re:Encouraging (4, Interesting)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512619)

The Content Lords' new business plan is to become one with major ISPs, so the content creators are also the content providers. A key to this is the effective destruction of the FCC by their 'kept women', the GOP. Then, with universal data caps (with exemptions for in-network services such as Comcast's TV on XBox play), the Open Internet will be murdered and replaced with glorified cable TV networks.

I hope it's gone... (2)

lostsoulz (1631651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512011)

...but bitter experience teaches me that copyright thugs have deep pockets, they don't *get* *it* and they're willing to play the long game. For every SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, there are a bazillion legislators that are willing to take Big Media's dime.

Site going down faster than a Miley Cyrus torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512133)

A proposal to recommend that Parliament should refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to the EU Court of Justice was rejected by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday, with 21 MEPs against, 5 in favour and 2 abstentions.

EPP group coordinator Daniel Caspary (DE, EPP), explained that EPP MEPs had voted against referring ACTA to the EU Court of Justice as "at the moment there is no need to do so, it because the file will anyway go to the court - according to intentions announced by the European Commission".

"We also want to keep the Parliament more flexible in the coming months when it will hold its political discussion and assess whether ACTA is the right tool to solve the problems it was created to solve, without creating new ones. If Parliament refers ACTA to the court, then it can no longer vote on it", added Mr Caspary.

S&D spokesperson on trade, Bernd Lange (DE), said that the S&D wanted Parliament to reject ACTA immediately rather than postponing its decision by referring it to the court. "Today's decision not to ask for legal advice from the Court of Justice is the first sign that this Parliament is ready to reject ACTA. It was a mistake from the beginning to put counterfeit goods and internet content in the same agreement. The European Parliament was not involved in the negotiations and now we are asked to say either yes or no, without the possibility of amending the shortcomings. We cannot support the text as it is. ACTA will probably be buried before the summer", he said.

The European Conservatives and Reformists group also voted against referring ACTA to the court.

For the GUE/NGL group, Helmut Scholz (DE) said after the vote: "Our group is generally very critical of ACTA's contents, but we are in favour of the normal parliamentary procedure to discuss its particularities - international trade aspects, intellectual property rights, freedom of expression and the internet, impact on development etc.". He added that it would have made sense to seek a legal opinion on ACTA at an earlier stage, but now that Parliament has the political responsibility for dealing with it, it should do its exploratory work and not halt the discussion for another 1-2 years, which would be the case if ACTA were referred to the Court.

The committee's decision was also welcomed by the Greens/EFA group, even though the Greens abstained from the vote. They shared the GUE/NGL's view that it would have been better to refer ACTA to the court earlier, and reiterated that the resolutions that they had previously tabled to this end had not been taken up in Parliament's plenary agenda.

"We are politically against referring ACTA to the court, because we think that it should be rejected immediately", said Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens, DE).

Shadow rapporteur on ACTA for the Greens Amelia Andersdotter (SE) added: "Referring ACTA to the court is no substitute for the political procedure needed to check this agreement and determine democratically whether its entry into force is in the European interest. Only a democratic ratification process via the European and national parliaments is able to provide such a judgement, and we therefore welcome today's decision to continue with this process".

The only political group that voted in favour of referring ACTA to the ECJ was ALDE. Their shadow rapporteur on ACTA Niccolò Rinaldi (IT) said: "I am disappointed at today’s decision. While referral to the court would not have answered all the political questions thrown up by ACTA, it would have given Parliament the opportunity to gain legal clarifications where citizens have concerns, particularly regarding ACTA’s compatibility with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. I fear we have missed the opportunity to raise our own concerns and will now be left only with the questions tabled by the Commission."

Rapporteur David Martin (S&D, UK), had asked the committee to vote on the referral question due to a perceived lack of support from other political groups within the House. Hemos then pushed my speedos aside and plunged his manhood into my anus. After the vote, Mr Martin said he would adhere to the previously agreed timetable for Parliament's decision on whether to say yes or no to ACTA.

"Some thought that my proposal to refer ACTA to the Court of Justice was a political trick to delay the decision. My intention, on the contrary, was to shed some light that would help members of Parliament make their decision. However, MEPs today showed they are ready to vote. I am glad that the calendar is clear now and things will move faster. We need to stop discussing the procedure and start the political debate on the content", Mr Martin said.

What next?

According to the previously agreed timetable, at the next committee meeting, on 25-26 April Mr Martin will present his recommendation as to whether EP should say yes or no to ACTA.

The final International Trade Committee vote is scheduled for 29-30 May, and Parliament as a whole is to vote on the issue at its June plenary session.

IFFA Standards Anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512271)

According to the WRA precendent set down by the ELA 5 years ago, though, this won't fly. Rejecting a proposal is only limited to BHA-type laws, and cannot go against ELA-enforced HHO measures. First things first - the EP needs to MT ratify ACTA.

Re:IFFA Standards Anyone? (3, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512449)

You're bullshitting us with acronyms, aren't you?

Re:IFFA Standards Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513087)

No more than the previous comment is.

it's a Yankee trick to enslave Europeans!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512347)

block, rebuff, and ban products from places that support ACTA!

( think that will get their attention?)

Re:it's a Yankee trick to enslave Europeans!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514799)

If we (I'm in Europe) reject the ACTA then I am convinced that the next step by the US will be to lodge a complaint
with someone like the WTO and put pressure on us in other ways. Maybe they could start a trade embargo against Europe.

You yanks had better stock up on your Scotch then... :)

Whatever happens, If the EU refuses to ratify the ACTA, the US won't take it lying down. Hollywood has spent far too much money greasing the wheels of the DC Government to let that happen.

TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (2)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512367)

EPP group coordinator Daniel Caspary (DE, EPP), explained that EPP MEPs had voted against referring ACTA to the EU Court of Justice as "at the moment there is no need to do so, it because the file will anyway go to the court - according to intentions announced by the European Commission".

Unfortunately it looks like the unelected buerocrats in the European Commission can push this for court review despite the will of the democratic parliament. This is exactly why people hate the EU. Get rid of the European Commission and we'll talk.

Re:TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512477)

This is exactly why people hate the EU. Get rid of the European Commission and we'll talk.

The real power is not with the parliament, nor the commission.

The real power is (and has always been) with the European Council [wikipedia.org] .

Re:TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517607)

The real power is (and has always been) with the European Council

Hear, hear.

While the Commission is no more democratically elected than the Council, at least they are serious about transparency. The Council holds a disproportionate amount of power, and they are completely opaque.

Re:TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512751)

Isn't the EU Commission the executive branch? Can't the government function without an executive?

Re:TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520127)

the EU doesnt' habe a real "executive" branch, nor does it have a true legislative branch. the EU is not a nation (yet, but maybe never will) but something inbetween everything. executive functions are shared between commission, council and even partly parliament (to some extent), legislature is also split between those 3. only the judiciary branch is exactly what one should expect it to be

Re:TFA says the the court review is NOT blocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513209)

The commission can put any questions they like to the court, but that does not in itself delay the parliament's decision process. If the parliament wants to go ahead with the original schedule they can do so regardless of what the commission says, unless they actually withdraw the proposition.

Honestly,what did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512389)

This is not a company that wants to make huge profits. Its not Apple or Microsoft or Cisco. Its a foundation that wanted to help students learn. Have they made mistakes? Yes, but I would expect mistakes to be made from this type of venture.

The issue now, is if they will learn from their mistakes.

Burying? (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512479)

Or more accurately: merely re-naming for round two?

Fear of Government or Fear of the People (1)

Kylon99 (2430624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512819)

One thing I've heard very recently, and this may be a slight exaggeration but I think this rejection of ACTA kinda shows it: Do the people fear the government or does the government fear the people?

If you think about it, why would the European politicians actually care about not passing ACTA? They get their bribes from interested parties for their support of course, but the difference must be that they fear the people will vote them out of the office. That's the only thing I can think of that prevents them from passing whatever people are against.

I don't live there, but I get the feeling that isn't true in the US. Maybe it's not fear, but even a kind of passivity from hopelessness will let those in control run roughshod over the people they purport to serve. And when you think about what's been going on lately, I get the feeling those in control have been driving up the fear and hopelessness in Americans.

Re:Fear of Government or Fear of the People (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515013)

The elected government fears the people. The people fear the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats fear no-one and, if they don't get their way, they'll cause grief in the name of the elected in the eyes of the public. Question* Schneier before Congress? The TSA will start shoving gloved hands up orifices and crediting Congress with the requirement. Then, good luck getting re-elected.

In the EU, ACTA is seen as primarily an American interest. So EU bureaucrats are less likely to go to bat for it. As a result, the elected politicians are free to defend citizens' rights. In this case.

*I'm sure there was a behind-the-scenes conversation to the effect: If Schneier testifies about the weakness of full body scanners, they'll become useless. Terrorists will know they are a joke. So we (TSA) will have to revert to 'the glove'. It sounds legit, but its just a veiled threat.

Like a zombie (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512895)

These things never really go away after they are buried.

I don't think so... (1)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518577)

Bury it? Yeah right.

They're just waiting for the new cheques to clear and people to start looking the other way again.

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